Finding ways to keep yourself entertained during a lockdown can be a challenge, and it's something we've never really had to do before. If you've exhausted every book, magazine, and manual lying around in your bedroom and feel like you've officially finished Netflix, fear not: There are still plenty of things you can do to keep busy. In particular, there are a number of cool skills you can learn in four days, which will be perfect for the upcoming long weekend that we'll be spending inside.
It's worth pointing out that it's totally OK to just exist right now, and you should feel no pressure to use this time to do anything impressive. If kicking back and watching boxsets all day is the thing making you feel calm and happy, and that's what you're able to do, you should definitely feel no guilt for that.
However, there are new skills you can learn if you fancy it. Whether it's baking something other than banana bread (yes, it's delicious but enough already), learning the beginnings of a new language, or becoming a computer whiz through the art of coding, I've picked out nine of the coolest skills you can learn during a four-day weekend in lockdown.
Basic sign language
I've always wanted to learn sign language. I think it's such a great skill to have, and it's actually fairly easy to learn some basic signing via the wonder-platform that is YouTube. There are plenty of videos up on the platform, but start with this one, which will teach you 25 basic ASL signs in just four minutes. Practice all long weekend and you'll be a pro.
Knitting is a skill that requires time and patience; two things we have in abundance right now. There are plenty of knitting starter kits you can order online, but I like these Wool & the Gang ones in particular, as you'll make something you actually like. They have options for cushions, blankets, scarves, and jumpers, and they're all super cool and chic. They all come with expert instructions, but if you need a little extra help, YouTube can once again come in handy here. Wool & the Gang are also hosting Instagram Live 'Stitch Surgeries' currently, where beginner knitters can tune in and ask a knitting expert for assistance in real time. These are hosted at 5 p.m., every Saturday.
What better time to get merry and practice your drink making skills? There are certain things you'll need to get hold of before you start (this list is a good resource), but again, this is a YouTube job; I like Steve the Bartender's 10 Easy Cocktails in 10 Minutes. Even if you have limited supplies, there's bound to be something in here you can make from home with what you have.
If I had a penny for the amount of bread-making posts I've seen on Instagram since the global pandemic, I'd be able to pack up shop and retire to a distant island somewhere in the Caribbean. Yes it's pretty unoriginal, but it's actually a very satisfying skill to master and to have in the long term... if you're able to get your hands on some flour, that is. Begin with the BBC's Easy Bake Bread, which you can do in the oven as opposed to an actual bread maker (good luck finding one of those RN).
Now is the ideal time to catch up with your quarantine correspondence through the dying art of letter writing. Pick up some beautiful personalized notecards from Papier, before adding a calligraphy starter set to your online basket, too. Then hop over to YouTube again (soz) and follow this absolute beginner tutorial to have old-school-worthy handwriting.
NGL I'm not exactly sure what coding is, but I know I want to be able to say I can do it. Luckily, it's something you can learn from the comfort of your own home with programs like Code Academy, which have free classes (along with longer paid for monthly memberships) for absolute beginners. Determined to make it as a spy after lockdown? Begin here.
Let me be clear: I am not a nail artist. When I paint nails, it looks like my friend's 6-year-old child has had something to do with it. So I've risen to the challenge of attempting to become my very own manicurist during lockdown, and this weekend I think I may just perfect it. It's all been made a lot easier by having these Ciaté stickers. You literally paint your nails the color you want, wait for them to dry, then apply your nail stickers with tweezers before applying a top coat. It's fiddly but manageable.
Niche? Sure. But when I spotted this article about slow-cooker fudge on Delish UK, I was more convinced than ever that this was something I needed to learn how to do. For the below recipe, you only need four ingredients, a slow cooker, and nothing but time... Tired of seeing banana bread on your feed? This is where it's at.